FRANKLIN -- International Paper plans to start up part of the mill it closed last year, but the company will be making something different.
The fluff pulp mill will hire 213 people to produce up to 270,000 metric tons of high-quality fluff pulp for products like baby diapers, incontinence products, feminine hygiene products and cleaning and baby wipes.
IP is investing $83 million to repurpose part of the Franklin mill it closed in April 2010 so it can open in mid-2012.
Gov. Bob McDonnell calls the decision great news.
'This project is a great sign of the Commonwealth's ongoing economic rebound. It will help offset the economic ripple effect caused by the company's 2009 announcement,' he said in a press release.
Mark Sutton, International Paper Senior Vice-President Printing and Communications Papers the Americas, said the plant will be 89% energy self-sufficient, utilizing power generated from carbon-neutral biomass on-site.
'The capability of producing energy from renewable biomass resources makes the remaining portions of the Franklin Mill site an ideal location for other partners looking for on-site green energy options,' he said in a press release Tuesday.
The company say it continues to work to find ways to use the rest of the shut down paper mill. Officials stress the mill won't restart paper production.
There was no immediate word on when hiring would begin.